Mark Cavendish took today's 11th stage, thanks to some well-timed headbutts from teammate Mark Renshaw. Renshaw became the first rider kicked out of the Tour, but it was totally worth it.
Renshaw is a lead-out man for HTC-Columbia, and it's his job to make a path for Cavendish. Normally, he'd do this by positioning his bike, but in this case he was getting out-maneuvered by Julian Dean.
Mr. Renshaw, a 25-year-old Australian, created a hole for Mr. Cavendish by headbutting Julian Dean of the Garmin-Transitions team three times. Mr. Dean was squeezing the HTC-Columbia riders against the rail. Mr. Renshaw's headbutt pushed him into the middle of the pack and helped Mr. Cavendish slice through for the win.
Alessandro Petacchi of Lampre-Farnese finished second and Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Transitions third.
But the headbutt went beyond normal aggression. The two losing teams complained. As a result, Mr. Renshaw became the first rider kicked out of the Tour this year. The expulsion "was a symbolic move, I hope it will prevent dirty riding," said Matthieu Perget, a French rider who was in the back of the scrum.
And yet, it worked. Renshaw's teammate won the stage. Why wouldn't you do this every time?